Well I tried floating in my sister's swimming pool for the first time since the loss of my second leg. It did not go as I had anticipated.
I was told by a prosthetist, who has a congenital loss of both feet, and is an accomplished swimmer, that I would be surprisingly buoyant because I no longer had the weight of my legs holding or pulling me down. That much was in fact true, however, the buoyancy was such that, to me, it became somewhat frightening.
Your body sometimes reacts in ways that can surprise you. Those built in survival mechanisms can cause you to be overly cautious in some instances.
My sister, Rhonda, was of course in the pool with me, but no matter how hard I tried, or how much encouragement she gave me, I could not let go completely. I either clinged with one hand to the side of the pool or I held on to a styrofoam flotation device. This inability to "let go completely" not only physically, but also mentally (intellectually) was perplexing to me.
I realize your body has an innate system of self-preservation that will not allow you to do things that your body either mentally or physically sees as threatening to your survival. Given all that, and knowing that my sister was right there, if I let go completely, I still began to panic. This is of course, is no reflection on the trust I have in Rhonda, my sister.
Somehow in my mind, it knew I had no legs to stand on literally and figuratively, and my body and mind reacted accordingly. I realize these were my first attempts at such a thing since my total leg loss, but I was surprised I was not more successful.
I had recently read an excerpt in my daily devotional about having the right attitude. It went on to say, and I'm paraphrasing, "children get excited about swimming at the deep end of a pool; they expect to overcome any difficulties they may encounter." The devotional excerpt continued to say, "their faith in a successful outcome--their right attitude--empowers them to reach their goal."
Anyone who knows me, knows having a positive attitude is never a problem, with respect to these types of things. I always approach new things expecting to be able to do them. I think that an advantage children have, and adults sometimes lose as they get older, is that they allow their past unsuccessful attempts to persuade them, even if only subconsciously, that a new endevour is in some way going to harm them.
This perplexing phenomenon of wanting to do do something new, and somehow having a mental "block" preventing you from accomplishing the task, is somewhat frustrating. Like all things I try for the first time, especially under my circumstnces, I realize it will take time, focus, and practice, practice and more practice.
Am I discouraged? Of course not, a little surprised, indeed. Anyone who is in my situation must realize that not only are there phyisical limitations to overcome, there mental issues as well.
I may be going back to my sister's over fourth of July weekend, and if I do, you had better believe I will try floating again. Fortunately it takes no real special skill to float in a raft in the pool, something I spent a lot of time doing at Rhonda's house. We had a great time and that is what really matters.
I will let you know how I progress with this floating issue. Until then, I will continue doing what I do, learning new ways to approach my tasks, understanding that in time I will succeed.